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book is hemmingway's boats.
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everything he loved in life and lost. what was the pillar? >> it was a fishing cruiser that hemming way bought in 1934 and owned for the last 27 years of his life, the most beloved material possession he ever owned, and so i thought maybe i could tell the hemingway story in a new way as a figure story telling devis. >> could you do it? >> well, i went to cuba in 2005, to havana, and when the guards were not looking, i certain tishesly touched the boat, a moving experience. the boat was dry dock, on a hillside at hemingway's home, and it was in terrible
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condition. it looked as if it were dying of thirst and only wanted to get into water, but that further convinced me i had a story to tell through the prism of this boat because when hemingway got the boat, he was the reigning monarch of american literature. he was at the very apex, and when he lost the boat, when he lost everything, when he killed himself by shotgun 27 years later, this boat lasted him through three wives, the nobel prize, and all his ruin, which is why it's sub titled everything he loved in life and lost. >> when it was built? >> it was built in a shipyard in brooklyn by the wheeler manufacturing company which in the 1930s was a very, very rep reputable fishing boat, cruiser boat, wooden hold construction boat company, and typical hemingway studied it out and
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looked for a long time before getting the boat, the exact boat he wanted, and he had it custom fitted, a stock boat, and it was fitted out to specifications, but went into the gulf stream off key west and began catching these 850 pound marlin, and that became his refuge from the world. >> how much did it cost? >> in 1934 cost -- [inaudible] had a down payment given by the editor of a new magazine in america called "esquire" and the editor gave him $3,000 to the new dream boat if you write articles for me. >> paul, you spent time on hemmingway's family, why? >> you know, i wanted to
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understand all the people, not just hemingway himself who came across the boat. one of the most power. story is the story of his third son, gregly ri, who was a doctor, but ended his life as a tran december diet and a transgender, and, yes, it is a kind of multibigraphical approach which seems to be what i know how to do. >> gregory was gigi? >> papa's nickname was gigi, and he actually became gloria. at the end of his life, he had had a complete sex change and died tragically in 2001 in a
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woman's jail cell in miami, and i knew him because of a washington post reporter. in 1987, i tracked down all three hemingway sons and spent time with the eldest, with the middle son, who was alive, and with gigi the third son who died in 2001. >> one is still alive? >> yeah, patrick. he's 84. he lives in montana. he is the surviving hemingway son who had a lot to do with the life of his father's boat. >> all three sons spent time on the boat? >> absolutely. as i said, he was married four times, three wives spent time on that boat, but, you know, through a combination of our research and letters own going to the various repositories of hemingway material, i was able to find out this boat just became such a central idea to
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his existence. you go out there, peter, and your dmons follow you, all your problems on shore, they, as we know, they come with us. we know about the alcohol in earnest hemingway's life, and how extensive was it, paul, and what about depression? was that a factor in the life as well? >> what? >> depression. >> oh, there's no question that hemingway suffered from what we recognize today as manic depression, bipolarrism. there was alcoholism. i think if he was alive today he might be medicated to prevent some of these things and possibly his suicide which raises a very thorny question. would he have written as
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brilliantly as he did if he was not suffering so much? that's a hard, hard question that too many artists have to face up to. >> paul, long time reporter for the washington post, what other topics have you written about as an author of books? >> i wrote about robert mack that mar, a name in this city, architect of vietnam, that book published in 1996 called "the living and the dead," and i wrote a book called "sons of mississippi," the book previous to this, a study of the civil rights south and integration of james meredith at the university of ol miss. i like to pick out subjects that i feel have a lot of resonance to the culture history biography. >> and paul's most recent book national book critic circle

Book TV
CSPAN December 25, 2012 4:00am-4:30am EST

Alice Walker Education. (2012) 'The Color Purple,' 30 years later.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Washington 1, Montana 1, Mississippi 1, Ol Miss. 1, Brooklyn 1, Hemingway 1, Miami 1, Cuba 1, America 1, Havana 1, Vietnam 1, Washington Post 1, Gregly Ri 1, Apex 1, Meredith 1, Mar 1, Papa 1, Robert Mack 1, Us 1, Patrick 1
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